My Grandma Susie would take this wonderful cake to barn raisings and to barn dances, where my Grandpa Ward would also take his fiddle. I hope my two grandchildren will have such warm memories of me when they are grandparents.
Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, cloves and nutmeg; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk.
Pour into two greased 9-in. round baking pans. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
In a heatproof bowl of a stand mixer, whisk egg whites, sugar, water and cream of tartar until blended. Place over simmering water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisking constantly, heat mixture until a thermometer reads 160°, about 2-3 minutes.
Remove from heat; add vanilla. With the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, beat on high speed until stiff glossy peaks form, about 7 minutes. Spread frosting between layers and over the top and sides of cake. Store frosted cake, uncovered, in refrigerator.